Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BILL HASTINGS' INSIDE INDIANA: Fun fest, Seuss, ceramics, pizza, etc.

by BILL HASTINGS Of the Gazette staff on March 01, 2013 10:50 AM

To whom it may concern —

THIS YEAR’S Family Fun Fest, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Indiana Mall, has a theme of “Festasaurus, celebrating 10 BIG years,” according to organizers.

The 10th annual event, hosted by the Children’s Advisory Commission of Indiana County, will feature more than 60 agencies and organizations at tables with various activities.

The activities include Dinosaur Detectives, where children investigate clues to answer questions about dinosaurs. This will be at 11 a.m.

As always, there will be a parent/child look-alike contest at noon, with registration and pre-judging at 11 a.m.

At the former Old Navy store, children can explore Paleo Play Park, a prehistoric play area, and participate in a Dinosaur Dig.

There will also be a Festasaurus Food Court that is “family budget-friendly,” according to organizers.


Add the following area residents to your growing list of good neighbors, the folks who plow out neighborhoods and shovel sidewalks following snowstorms: Delphis and Shane Weaver and Doug Lemmon, Marchand; Gregg Foreman, Nolo; and Larry Stubbe, Indiana.


People with donations for the family of Jason Drew, 30, of Shelocta, who was killed by a falling tree limb in an accident Sunday, can donate by visiting

Contributions are also being accepted at S&T Bank and should be payable to American Funds, c/o S&T Bank, Attention William Simmons, 800 Philadelphia St., Indiana, PA 15701.

All funds will benefit his family: Wife Chelsea Byerly Drew, and their three sons, Carter, 5; Elliot, 3; and Sawyer, 14 months.


Children will have the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Seuss on Saturday at the Indiana Free Library, where the “Oh, the Places You’ll Go at the Library” event will offer live animals, food, crafts and more. The event, sponsored by the Indiana County Reading Council, The Indiana Gazette and the library, will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CELEBRITY WAITERS will be on hand Sunday at the Democratic spaghetti dinner scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Chevy Chase Community Center.

Food will be provided by Family Affair Caterers; the menu includes spaghetti, salad, rolls and homemade desserts by members of the Federation of Democratic Women, the event’s sponsor.

The dinner will highlight Democratic candidates who will run in the spring primary election, according to organizers. Indiana County politicians may attend to announce their candidacy and circulate petitions, which are due March 12.

Tickets to the dinner are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children under 5.

Proceeds from the dinner are used to support countywide candidates.


Know an environmentalist who you believe is worthy of an award for their work?

The League of Women Voters of Indiana County is seeking nominations for the second annual Peggy Clark Environmental Leadership Awards.

“The awards will recognize local citizens, groups or businesses who show exemplary leadership and active participation in policy issues that involve protection or preserving our environment,” according to the LWV. “It promotes citizens working within the system at the local level to make a change for a better world.”

The league is looking for nominees who “demonstrate grassroots leadership” in the areas of preservation of the ecosystem and activism to preserve or protect natural resources.

Leadership can mean a variety of forms, including using new or innovative technology to preserve the environment, activities that “show a direct positive effect on our environmental resources,” activities that reduce pollution and more.

Citizens and groups may send nominations, and individuals can self-nominate, according to the group.

Awards will be presented at the league’s annual meeting May 14.

The deadline to apply is April 1. To obtain an application, contact Sherene Hess, president, at or (724) 762-4162.


THE IUP Ceramics Club is busy gearing up for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser that is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at The Artist’s Hand, where participants can purchase a handmade bowl filled with homemade soup, bread and a cookie for $15.

All proceeds benefit Indiana County Community Action Program’s food bank.


The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Valeski’s BiLo plaza is preparing to say goodbye to winter with a bag sale until March 15, according to Nicholas Kolb, president.

All the clothes you can stuff into a bag provided by the store is $5.

“Our customers always look forward to the bag sale in order to stock up for next year or the remaining cold days,” Kolb said.

As always, proceeds benefit the needy.


Menus were in the news again this week, with the cuisine ranging from the Lenten traditions, and lots of it, to North America’s favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack — pizza. The story behind the story: Indiana businessman Tom Zaucha has purchased the landmark Pizza House along Oakland Avenue from Johnny Tsiris. Tsiris will continue to work at the pizza ovens as a part-time cook and consultant, Zaucha told the Gazette. Zaucha has chiefly worked in the health care field. He says most of the eatery’s current menu items will remain the same, adding, “We will be adding soups, hot dogs and outdoor seating. It was a nice opportunity with the right location.” … Gas prices have risen again, to $3.89 per gallon at most local pumps. … Speaking of gasoline, access to the pumps at the Sheetz convenience store along Warren Road has reopened. … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, says it was author Sinclair Lewis who observed: “Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.”

Good evening!

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